Conservative climate change activist visits Minnesota

Baihly Warfield
Updated: September 25, 2020 10:36 PM

A young conservative concerned about climate change is crisscrossing the country in a Tesla, and Minnesota was his stop Thursday-Saturday. 


Benji Backer founded The Conservation Coalition, a nonprofit "dedicated to mobilizing young people around environmental action through common-sense, market-based, and limited-government ideals." 

"As we've traveled across the country, we've realized that rural areas don't feel like they have a voice on environmental issues, but they know they need to because it's what their livelihoods are," Backer said.

He's originally from Wisconsin and said he felt left behind by the environmental  movement that is primarily associated with the left side of the political spectrum. 

"The days of denialism versus alarmism, the days of doing nothing versus doing a one-size-fits-all policy, those days have to be over," he said. "We have to meet in the middle and say, how can we work with local communities and the private sector and all levels of government to tackle this through an exciting, innovation-based, job-creating approach?"

Backer visited Land O' Lakes in Arden Hills Friday to hear about sustainable agriculture initiatives. He's also planning a stop at IPS Solar in Roseville. Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) was listed as someone he'd meet with there. 

When he meets with elected officials, Backer said he encourages them to set politics aside. He says we all share the same environment, so a cleaner one is a win-win for everyone. 

"Bipartisanship is the future of environmentalism," he said. 

Backer is headed to Madison on Monday and Michigan for tours of General Motors and more after that. He's calling it the Electric Election Roadtrip. 

He is podcasting along the way. You can listen and learn more about the trip at


Baihly Warfield

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